Friday, 31 January 2014

A giraffe giveaway...


That's about all I can say for the response over the last few days.
Wow, wow, wow.

Thank you to each and every one of you for all the facebook likes, twitter retweets and blog comments. I have had some really fantastic feedback to my TV debut and for that I am truly truly grateful.

It was a massively nervewracking experience, all of it. I was totally out of my comfort zone; I am actually a very insecure person, I hate hearing myself speak or seeing photos of myself, and I am a huge control freak! So to put myself up for this was a real challenge. But you've got to do that every now and again right??! I have felt sick for weeks with the anticipation of how I was going to come across on screen, and haven't been able to sleep for worry. So your reaction has been so completely wonderful, and I am so overwhelmed with the positive reaction I have had.

So, thank you again.

I would love to do something to thank you properly and I think I might have just the thing. When I was finalising my design for Bev's room and I had the idea to do a couple of cushions to reflect the South African theme, I had a bit of a play with a giraffe which did end up becoming a finished cushion for her (you may remember the giraffe cushion? Here is a little reminder...)

Anyway,  this was the prototype. 

The colour was wrong for her - she doesn't like orange - and the neck is too upright, that had to be changed, but it was a decent enough starting point. Anyway, I was going to chuck it away but then I thought I could maybe make a cushion out of it and give it away to a lucky reader? What do you think? If you would like to be entered you have three options to do so...

1. 'Like' my facebook page and share the giveaway post (here:
2. Follow me on twitter (here:
3. Follow me on this blog.

Please let me know below what you have done so I can put your name in the hat!! I'll give you until Thursday  6th Feb and then I will draw a winner. Please please share the word!!!

And thank you again. I am very humbled by it all.


Monday 3rd Feb...
I have now made the cushion - so it is all ready for a lucky winner!!
Thank you for all your shares, comments, likes, etc, I will draw a winner on Thursday.
Helen x

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Great Interior Design Challenge...

Well. Did you see it??!

I am still reeling from it all to be honest, but I would love you to indulge me just a little bit further...

Firstly, I cannot express how much I LOVED every single second of this whole adventure. Really. I totally totally loved it and just didn't want it to end! It was one of the most exhausting, exciting and exhilarating things I have ever done. I was totally in my element, and ended up being very proud of what I achieved.

A lot of comments on twitter throughout the series have been about Design vs. Decorating/Styling. I have nothing to compare what I did to - I am probably one of the least experienced of all the contestants - my only experience of designing (decorating?!) is doing my own home. I love to collect. I love visiting vintage shops and finding a piece that catches my eye. And I love to buy work from small, independent designers - most of whom I have met through facebook or twitter! There is an abundance of incredible, original talent out there. Anyway, I buy what I love. So, this collecting, it takes time. And it is always only for me. I have never had a time schedule to finish anything, nor have I ever decorated (designed?!) for anybody else. So this certainly was a challenge...

Paula and Johnny, my gorgeous 'opponents' in my round are both currently studying different aspects of Interior Design, as were a lot of other contestants. Me? Well, when they said we had to produce a mood board I panicked as I had never even seen a mood board, let alone create one before! I literally googled 'how to do a mood board' and so every single step of the way was a huge (but enjoyable) learning curve.

But, spending someone else's money? Wow, now that was brilliant. Working to someone else's brief? That took time to get my head around. I saw wallpapers, fabrics, curtains, lamp shades that I fell in love with, but had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't designing for me, it was for Bev. That was difficult to do. I think in the end, I probably played it quite safe, but in the whole process I wanted to give Bev a room that she loved, and would enjoy living in. And I am thrilled to say that I know I achieved that.

So no, I don't believe I 'designed' a room. I styled Bev's room, I decorated Bev's room, and I loved every minute. But no, I didn't design anything - and that is what this process has taught me. Paula and Johnny designed their rooms, but I was SO privileged to have been chosen to feature on this programme alongside these talented Designers that that is what I am taking away with me. Not many people get an opportunity like this and for that I am extremely grateful.

I met some truly wonderful people. Everyone behind the scenes - well, I think I fell a little bit in love with each and every one of them. They worked SO incredibly hard, the amount of effort that goes into something like this is phenomenal and they are a massively talented bunch of people. I want to say a huge thank you to all of them, especially my 'boys' - Dickie, Scott and Charlie, who were just wonderful. Also Marianne, Sarah and Emma, you were just the loveliest. Sophie and Dan - thank you for all your constructive advice, I really hope that I have taken it on board with my current work. Please don't underestimate what these guys did, not just for me, but for the whole series. Hours, days, months of really hard graft.

All I did was paint a few walls and make some cushions. I had the easy part!


Saturday, 25 January 2014

A mammoth update...

Blimey, it's been a while since I was here last! Apologies for that, I'm not quite sure where the latter part of 2013 disappeared to, but we seem to now be almost at the end of January 2014 and I thought I'd better do a quick update as to what I've been up to!

So, to keep it as brief as possible, I'll stop with the chatter and show you some pictures!! 

I've been making more lampshades...

I even yarnbombed an old base (in other words, I crocheted a looooong piece with lots of different coloured yarns and wrapped it round a lamp base) and popped a handmade shade on top! It has pride of place by my rocking chair...

There was Christmas, of course...

And a variety of orders and commissions... 

I have made lots of dresses, this one being my current favourite after being featured on Folksy's home page!

I found an old footstool/box type thing in a local recycling shop for £4. I covered it and it is now a lovely storage unit for all my yarns! 

I have been doing a fantastic online photography course, run by the beautiful Lyndsey James Photography. 

And also, I seem to have found myself in a spread in the Daily Mail about a certain television series I am appearing in next week...

Don't forget to watch - BBC2, Tuesday 28th January to see me in action. I've been having palpitations and sleepless nights about it all week!!

And finally, I updated my website... Please go take a look and let me know what you think!

Not been that busy then...!!

Helen xxx